Archive for March, 2011

To Run or Not to Run

Posted: March 24, 2011 in Random

Mitt Romney sure seems to be running; Newt Gingrich and Tim Pawlenty are probably running, too. Palin may run as well, and Obama will run no matter what. Should I?

Source: The New York Times

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The Marathon Weight Loss Dilemma

Posted: March 23, 2011 in Personal

No, these are not my feet.

This year, I have an ambitious goal of running 5 marathons. I say ambitious because I have yet to run my first and here I am contemplating a spot in the Milo Marathon Finals. This means I don’t just have to complete a marathon, I need to finish with a time less than 4:20 to qualify for my age bracket. To be fit enough to race that well I’d have to train hard and long week after week, burning thousands upon thousands of calories.

Here’s the problem: I am already too skinny. I barely manage to maintain an 18.5 BMI which is borderline normal. According to studies, any further dip will make me at risk of dying younger than the average person. Losing so many calories might leave me looking like skin and bones by December if I keep at it, especially because it has always been so difficult for me to gain weight. I’ve never been fat. My body only knows how to shift between thin and thinner.

This is making me think twice about running 42Ks. Sure, there’s glory and the feeling of accomplishment, but what if it brings me more harm than good? Maybe I’m better off sticking to half marathons and improving my time there. *sigh*

We’ll see. Right now I’m thinking, why settle for a compromise? You can have it all if you work hard at it. I need to focus on increasing my daily calorie intake, religiously log all my food consumption at DailyBurn, stop forgetting about my vitamins, drink 2-3 glasses of Enervon HP everyday, allow myself to indulge in sweets from time to time, and make sure I always get 8-10 hours of sleep. Got to work hard to fund all these food I have to consume. Good luck to me.

Do you have quick weight gain tips? Please feel free to share.

I don’t remember why exactly, but this afternoon I ended up searching for pictures of Pia Cayetano – probably the most visible politician/athlete today. See her wrist? I noticed that she wears her sports watch/heart rate monitor even to senate hearings and conferences. With her tight schedule, she probably trains right before or after her meetings, so she doesn’t bother changing her watch to suit her formal attire. Now that’s a dedicated triathlete for you.

At a senate session.

On the campaign trail for re-elections.

At a UN conference on women’s rights, for which she presided over as president.

New watch? I’m not sure if it’s a sports watch but it could be a Timex Ironman model. What do you think?

If races have taught me anything, it is the absolute necessity of training. To avoid a repeat of my dismal showing at the Condura Skyway Marathon, this time I made sure to minimize distractions and follow my training schedule: 3 weeks of build-up from 5K to 21K then 1 week of tapering down before the event itself. In total, I was able to run 122.66K in four weeks. When race morning came, I was confident I’d do much better than my 2:55 PR.

It was raining all night. I feared we’d be running wet. My cab reached The Fort at 5 o’clock and as if on cue, the rain stopped to give us a perfect cool morning run. I quickly deposited my bag at the counter and took my place at the starting line. At exactly 5:15am, we were off!

To cut through the crowd and be able to breathe easier, I always positioned myself at the side of the roads. Even though I can run much faster, I maintained an easy pace to conserve my energy in the first few kilometers. I also learned not to drink too frequently to avoid nausea, hydrating only when needed. By the time we reached the Buendia flyover, I was running at a strong and steady pace.

I spotted Tessa Prieto-Valdes in her trademark pink tutu. I did my best to catch up but she was damn fast! Going downhill at the flyover, I seized my chance using gravity to go all out, getting near and eventually overtaking her. I was thrilled. However, 200m after we got onto the flat road she passed me again. I knocked some sense into my head. Trying to run at her pace will only burn me out. I should follow my game plan and race at my own pace. Props to Miss Tessa for being incredibly fit at her age, leaving lots of guys biting her dust, and making people watching on the street smile with her colorful outfit.

Picture courtesy of @amrieabegail from Twitter

After the Buendia U-turn, a runner came up to ask if I was the girl he saw running in the Corregidor International Half Marathon. I recognized him instantly as the guy who ran with a video camera in that race last December. I told him yes, that was my first 21K. He was surprised because it’s a tough course to make a half marathon debut.

Guy: Dun mo pa talaga ginawa?
Me: Kaya nya inabot ako ng 3hrs doon.
Guy: Ako rin naman 3hrs dun ah.
Me: Petiks ka nun eh. At times parang nagyo-yoga ka pa. (saw him sitting near a cliff looking out to sea)
Guy: Haha. Sige, good luck. Ang lakas mo na tumakbo, hindi ka na 3hrs ngayon.
Me: Sana nga. Good luck din!

I took three packets of my home-made energy gels with me, taking one every few kilometers to make sure I have enough gas all throughout. They helped a lot. I felt strong up to the end. My conditioning was so much better than my previous races that I never had to stop to walk during uphills. When I rounded the corner heading to the finish line, I still had plenty of energy to sprint. I think I could have certainly run a bit faster, but I’m happy with my time of 2:30 – a new PR with a 25min improvement!

Medals were handed out right after the finish line, which is always nicer than receiving it still wrapped in plastic. I think the design could have been better, though, as well as the lace quality. Runners were pampered in the Unilab Village where lots of booths had free giveaways. Tired as I was, all I was interested in was getting my finisher’s kit and finisher’s shirt. Because I got mine late, they said the only size left was XL which would have been useless to me, but my eagle eye found the last XS and got it! Wooot!

I feel quite accomplished. Congratulations to all the runners and thanks to Unilab/Runrio for staging a great event! I’m looking forward to completing the Runrio Trilogy this year. 😉

Our Way of Life

Posted: March 6, 2011 in Random